Let me start off by saying buying a Playstation Vita has been a sensation for me, three months in, it has changed the way I game. The choice offered by the online shop is great, equal to the Nintendo Eshop easily and in some ways better, yet some ways worse. The simple thing that makes the Vita great in comparison to the 3ds is the games that it has that the 3ds will probably never have, you could easily say the same of the Nintendo console too, this leads me to say that they are a very nice team of handhelds when aligning them together.
An example of a game you perhaps won’t see on the 3DS is brand new out on the Vita, Flame Over. As soon as I saw promo pictures of this one I realised it looked like a lot of fun, when I got the chance to review it I instantly said yes. It has bright cartoony graphics that draw you in brilliantly, but it is the premise itself that excites me to the extreme. Think of a fireman simulator, you are playing as a fire fighting hero, using an extinguisher or a hose to clear rooms in an office from a fire, saving hopeless humans and cats that you come across. All the levels are randomly generated and each time you die you can use tokens in the shop to get upgrades. Make no mistake; the action in this game is fast, furious and great fun.
What you have to work with is a sort of top down view on the action, you use the two analogue sticks to control your fire fighter and your camera. You simply enter a room and start spraying your hose in an attempt to cool it all down, you need to keep a note of the danger level that appears because your firefighter can die. Also your hoses can run out of juice, but you can refill them at the base you start at, but it is another level of planning you have to think about, but you can refill at water coolers and the like along the level too.
It sounds simple and yes it is, but not entirely, let me explain this game’s main pitfall for me. You can start a game and the first room you get is a complete nightmare and you die quick, before you even get a chance to move on. The next game I can do a bit better, the first room is fine, then so is the second one, but then the third one is murder too, it is all very random difficulty, and the level is already cruel for a new starter. There are tips you can read if you scroll through them from the loading menu, but everything else is left up to the player for themselves, and things can be fiddly. Adding to the difficulty also is that there is a time limit for the player of five minutes, if that runs out a spectre of death enters the level and if it touches you, well you die instantly. The only way to slow this down is by saving people, getting them to follow you back to your base, this adds a minute to your time.
I mentioned tokens you can earn to unlock things in the shop to buy, you earn this by completing a task from a character you are saving without them or you dying. This sounds easy enough, but it is itself like the rest of the game very hard, I still have to really earn much from this. It is easy to sink the time in but progression is hard to achieve, however I must point out, I have never played a game I have not enjoyed with this game yet.
The graphics are great, bright cheerful, detailed and the music is very well done, suited to the piece itself. It all ties up into a nice little package when you consider the cut scenes and the gameplay and everything. I would happily say to any arcade gaming fan to give it a go, but be prepared this game does no favours and wants you to die lots, in fact it is just too difficult for me to really take seriously myself. However there is a lot of fun if you are willing to put in the work and learn what is needed here.
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